House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) recently sat down with Roll Call’s Alex Gangitano to answer five questions and have a discussion about the importance of unity and reaching out to people from all walks of life to work together towards civility.
Chair McMorris Rodgers also talks about being a lawmaking mom, the Congressional Institute’s member retreat, and surviving the House schedule.
Missed the interview? CLICK HERE to read her answers, and see ↓ for a sneak peek.
Q: The Republican retreat is coming up on Jan. 31. What goes into planning that?
A: I’m proud that the last three years, working with Sen. John Thune, it’s been a joint House and Senate retreat. We had gone for a long time without having the senators on the retreat. We’ll have the president, the vice president [and] we’ve invited other Cabinet members to come. It’s really just an opportunity that we rarely have to spend time together and also to think about and discuss our goals for 2018.
Q: What did you do for the long weekend?
A: I spoke at the Martin Luther King rally in Spokane and launched the return to civility pledge that I am really excited to be leading in eastern Washington — a result of a series of meetings and dinners that I had last year. Coming out of the election, a local guy in Spokane … [said], ‘Cathy, you know there’s something about bringing people together over dinner and putting away the cellphones and sharing a meal that just really can be impactful.’ He said, ‘As a leader in this community, I think it would mean a lot if you were to bring diverse people together and have a unity dinner.’ So I took him up on his challenge, and we’ve been having these unity dinners.
Q: What was your most challenging day in office?
A: Some of my most challenging days came when I was a freshman because trying to wrap my hands around the schedule and all of the demands, it seemed impossible. I remember one day I was in the Education [and the Workforce] Committee, and we were voting at the same time the [Natural] Resources Committee was voting. And I just, like, gave up — there’s just no way I can physically do this, and people back home are going to say that I’m missing votes.
Pet peeve: The people that seem like they have to push others on the airplane in order to get off the quickest. We all want to get off that plane. It goes back to basic civility.
Closest friend across the aisle: Reps. Debbie Dingell and Sanford Bishop.
CLICK HERE to read the full interview.